Decor & Renovation

9 bedrooms we love

By: Lesley Young

Author: Canadian Living

Decor & Renovation

9 bedrooms we love

By: Lesley Young

Get inspired by these gorgeous rooms to create a stylish sleep retreat.

Using soft furnishings, colour, decor and clever space planning, you can create a stylish sleep retreat without a big expense or a major reno. Here are nine gorgeous bedrooms to inspire you.

1. Fanciful flair

Photography by Stacey Brandford

Winning design element: Pink-flamingo wallpaper? Why not?! Sarah Richardson treats the walls in her kids' rooms like art. When her nine-year-old daughter wanted a pink room, Richardson homed in on this unique wall covering. "I don't love anything that's too sticky-sweet or babyish," she says. "The flamingo wallpaper is fun and whimsical yet sophisticated and stylish."

Why we love it: Using whimsical elements can make your bedroom a one-of-a-kind space. Look for a modern treatment of a traditionally playful theme to avoid "silly" territory. If you're a wallpaper-phobe, Richardson suggests installing a wallpapered panel on the wall in place of a headboard; with a bit of inexpensive wood trim and a single roll of wallpaper, you can create a touch of fun.

2. Layer cake


Winning design element: A casually layered bedscape is the icing on the cake of your sleep space. By using a range of soft furnishings, your bedroom will look distinct, rather than deliberately decorated. Sarah Walker, designer and blogger at The Curated House, says that combining patterns and textures is
a good way to create visual interest.

Why we love it: Curating your bedding allows you to show off your personal style and fashion sense. "I think the most interesting spaces tell a story," says Walker, "and the best story we can tell is our own." First, choose a colour palette you love, then, within that palette, combine soft furnishings in complementary patterns (either printed patterns or textures such as silk or velvet) while playing with scale. This bedscape from Anthropologie features a graphic pattern on the duvet cover that pairs perfectly with the textured cushions. Breaking up the pattern with a dark solid on the throw and shams gives it a modern feel.

3. Room to glow

Photography by Stacey Brandford

Winning design element: The best bedrooms have a lovely ambience, which can be achieved through illumination. "A bedroom is where you can think outside the box with lighting," says Lindsay Mens Craig, designer with Toronto's Sarah Richardson Design. "You want it to feel special."

Why we love it: You don't have to break the bank to elevate a bedroom's light fixtures. For her master bedroom, Mens Craig featured vintage finds that she worked to improve. She had the chandelier rewired, painted the wooden table-lamp bases white and gold, and ordered custom shades. "Even with the refurbishing, they were still very inexpensive," she says. When choosing statement lighting, Mens Craig recommends paying attention to scale. "For the chandelier, err on the larger side instead of going too small, and make sure it references the design of the side-table lamps."

4. Space smarts

Photography by Donna Griffith

Winning design element: Bedroom layouts can be a challenge in any size room, but this is especially true for small spaces. In this diminutive room, neither esthetics nor storage is sacrificed; two Ikea dressers and a matching DIY tabletop create a stylish multiuse storage solution along one wall.

Why we love it: Tim Lam, the designer of this condo bedroom (and the blogger behind Design Maze), wasn't afraid to put furniture in front of the window. "It offered the best light for putting on makeup and working," he says, "so I treated the windows like a feature wall." When coming up with space solutions, think bold; for example, don't choose tiny side tables when you can use a small dresser to get the storage you need.

5. Black magic

Photography by Stacey Brandford

Winning design element: Black might be an unexpected colour for a bedroom, but using it can result in an ultra-cozy space. If you're going for moody (even before you turn out the lights), paint your bedroom a softer dark colour like charcoal rather than a hard black. If painting four walls black is out of your comfort zone, one feature wall might be all you need, says Shirley Meisels, designer of Toronto's Mhouse Inc.

Why we love it: A black bedroom is not only classic but it also has a chameleonlike versatility. Depending on furniture, textures and patterns that are layered in, the look can be either sophisticated and high fashion or pretty and romantic. Include textiles and patterns to keep your noir from becoming too stark; here, the bold wallpaper offers contrast to the soft shearling carpet, organic linen bedding and warm wood furniture, creating a depth of texture. "Paint the baseboards black, too," adds Meisels, "to avoid white racing stripes that can make a wall look shorter."

6. Story time

Photography by Donna Griffith

Winning design element: Choose something you really love—a piece of artwork or, in this case, a fabulous wallpaper—and make it the focal point. For designer Jessica Waks, owner of Jessica Claire Interiors in Toronto, this Penguin Classics book wallpaper was the perfect choice for her twins' nursery. "It wasn't just the fact that it was the right combination of gender-neutral colours," she says. "I loved that it imbued the nursery with a sense of literature and culture."

Why we love it: A focal point helps ground the design of a bedroom and can be the jumping-off point for a design "story." Waks amplified the theme with penguin mobiles over the cribs and used custom-framed digital prints of book quotes as wall art. For a low-cost DIY alternative, try removable decals or painting stripes on one wall.

7. Go graphic

Photography by Tracey Ayton

Winning design element: Big, bold patterns can infuse a room with personality. Here, a vibrant green-and-pink headboard adds a cheerful energy to a little girl's room. "We kept the graphic element on the headboard," says Jamie Deck of Vancouver's Shift Interiors, "but if you want a bolder look, do graphic patterns on another wall, too."

Why we love it: A graphic pattern is a focal point that not only creates interest but, when it relates to other colours and textures in the room, it can give harmony to the whole space. The pattern should work with the colour palette you've chosen. Go ahead and layer in other patterns, as long as they match the hues and are different in scale.

8. Wood, meet wall

Photography by Tracey Ayton

Winning design element: Wooden floor planks are the latest way to inject dynamic texture and warmth into an accent wall. "Wood brings an organic element that really softens a bedroom," explains Deck, who designed this room.

Why we love it: This architectural element looks upscale and sophisticated. Use engineered hardwood (the installation is similar to laying the boards on the floor with finishing nails and glue) or make it more affordable by using vinyl (shown here). Colour, style and texture are up to you—the options are endless—and you can run the planks horizontally or vertically. "If it matches existing flooring," says Deck, "running it up the wall can make the space seem bigger."

9. True colours


Winning design element: Rich colour can have serious impact in a bedroom. "When I think bold colour, I think dramatic, sultry and cozy deep hues that create an inviting sanctuary," says Lisa Canning of Lisa Canning Interiors in Toronto. The burgundy hue of this children's room is balanced by white built-in bunk beds. "The red doesn't take over the space, and that's why it's successful."

Why we love it: Everyone loves a little drama in the bedroom. Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to change things up when you're looking to overhaul your room's style, and it only takes a weekend for an absolute transformation. If you're leaning toward a saturated colour, Canning recommends paying special attention to multihued paint chips. "Look at opposite ends of your colour chip, not the colours in the middle," she says. "Pale is soothing, while deep is cozy; the in-between hues can be too energetic for a bedroom." Also, make sure you contrast rich walls with light colours in the bedding or furniture. "If everything is dark, it can look overly theatrical."

Need more bedroom inspiration? Check out how to decorate the perfect bedroom for you.

This story was originally part of "9 Bedrooms We Love" in the February 2016 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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